Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE KAKEMONO, by JESSIE GODDARD BROMAN



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THE KAKEMONO, by            
First Line: Then I arose before the rosy day
Last Line: The dream must stay unseen -- forever bright.
Subject(s): Paintings & Painters


Then I arose before the rosy day,
And silently prepared by dreams of night,
Or taught by them, perhaps, I saw the way
To help a vision to regain the light,
To give my lord when I should come to stay
Within his house, and make his dwelling bright.
I took a square of silk, as silvery bright
As mist of rain upon a Spring-green day,
And hung it from a roll before the light,
To see if I could find a mystic way
Of holding there the pictured hours of night
Whose wan and fleeting beauty would not stay.

And there it hung and there I let it stay,
While in my mind in colors soft yet bright,
The picture grew that would at some far day
Be shown to honored guest and shed the light
Of hospitality -- an ancient way --
And please my lord on such a gala night.
I bent in prayer. The waning moon-lit night
Was hushed. The rising incense seemed to stay
About the listening Buddha, bronze and bright.
The empty face that looked at me by day
Was filled with eerie, mocking, jealous light --
Into my heart a new pain found its way.

Then, pliant brush within my hand took way
Across the pearly square, and when the night
Had given place to newly risen day,
My lines held fast what once had seemed too bright
For earthly keeping -- here at last to stay --
A thing to treasure, full of silken light.
I rolled it up, away from spoiling light.
I waited for my lord to come this way,
Alas, he came and went before the night
And fevered hope became my shield and stay.
His battle smoke dims tears that once were bright
And aching horror charts the hours of day.

L'envoi

Now is the day that brings our fate to light.
Here is love's night! There is no other way!
The dream must stay unseen -- forever bright.





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